About Us & Location

     Rhonda Berta and her daughter, Abbi were bitten by the bead bug years ago while vacationing with their family in West Palm Beach, FL.  Abbi, (then 8 years old) noticed that a woman was wearing a very intricate and beautifully beaded necklace.  This woman, pleased that her hand-beaded design was appreciated, was kind enough to take them to her favorite bead shop and the rest is history...

     We opened our doors on March 25, 2005 and within 1 week, held our first bead stringing class.  Soon after opening, Rhonda's sister Hanna Bertulis joined the business.  As the business began to grow, so did our love for fine yarns and fibers.  Years later, we are pleased to offer over 150 classes, including basic bead stringing and knitting, original bead weaving designs, felting classes, wire sculpting, loom weaving, silver-smithing, metal works, spinning, crochet, and peyote instruction.  We are certified in precious metal clay, and schedule workshops by appointment.  In 2012, The Bead Place took 2nd place for Favorite Bead Store Worldwide, by a Lark Craft reader's poll.

     The Bead Place carries a great selection of exceptional local and imported, hand-dyed, hand-spun fibers.  We are unpacking shipments of these luxurious yarns every week.  Yarn Club members receive yarn and needle discounts!

     The Association of Crafts & Creative industries states that individuals craft for a variety of reasons, including the satisfaction of being able to say, "I made it myself," to save money, and to make creative and personalized gifts.  Let us help you save money by teaching you how to make it yourself.  Join the Bead Club for perks and extra savings. 

The Bead Place is dedicated to providing outstanding customer service as the "Best" Bead Shop in Southern Illinois.

     We are located at 8 Plaza Drive in Fairview Heights, IL 62208 inside of the Marketplace Shopping Center between Dollar Tree and Jenny Craig. Look for Best Buy, Goodwill, or Burlington and you won't miss us!

Hours of operation:
Tuesday-Saturday: 1-5PM
or by appointment any time!

Meet the Staff and Instructors!

Abbi Berta- Owner, full-time store fixture, instructor, and oddball.  She loves to work with wire, metals, and seed beads.  She has taught at Interweave's Bead Fest Philadelphia, The Bead Q Jewelry Exploration, and on cruises and at other craft events.  Her work has been featured in/on the cover of numerous jewelry making/beading publications such as Easy Wire Magazine, Step by Step Wire Jewelry and Jewelry Stringing.  She has appeared as a guest on the PBS show, Beads Baubles & Jewels, and live on Great Day St. Louis several times.  She also loves to experiment with colors in knitting and crochet.  In her spare time, she enjoys pumping iron and punk rock shows.  Gross, right?  She also spends way too much time on YouTube.  Contact her at  She designs and runs our website, Facebook page, and web store, and is always looking for feedback to make your online experience with us better!

Rhonda Berta-  This lady is the reason we're here!  She opened the store in 2005.  She's a bead store owner by day and full-time grandma by night.  She weaves, she crochets, and she occasionally tells punny jokes.  She wrestles with cats, a puppy, and a five year old for exercise and she eats nails and screws to stay tough.  She loves to work with seed beads and she loves to go to Florida. :)  Contact her at

 Hanna Bertulis-  Store owner and mom #2 to Abbi.  She has a passion for color and fibers and she's pretty darn good with both.  She has taught needle bead-weaving, crochet, hairpin lace, and more!  She is The Bead Place's go to gal for color and design help.  She enjoys Billy Joel and trying to escape from her crazy family members.  In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, vodka, and dates with handsome men.  Know any?  Just kidding.  Not really.  She likes music festivals, cooking, shoe shopping, and especially knitting and crocheting.  She also loves to go to Florida. :)

Becky Bokern- Becky works here in the shop and is our instructor for most things CROCHET!  Becky is a proud mother to Sade and wife to Eric.  She has been crocheting since 2008 and has won many first place ribbons for her crochet pieces at the St. Clair County Fair.  While crocheting is Becky's first love, she also knits, weaves, spins and dyes yarn. Becky likes to experiment with unique color combinations and write her own patterns.  She also works to keep our web store up to date with new products and we are VERY proud to have Becky as part of The Bead Place family!

Linda Biermann- Boy can this woman bead!  She is our expert on bead embroidery.  She also teaches our Kumihimo and Bead Crochet classes as well.  She could bead about anything!  Linda's classes have also been offered at the Bead Q Jewelry Exploration '11.

Ruth Leech-  She can wire sculpt beautifully.  She teaches our wire sculpting pendants, rings, bracelets, and collar classes.  She is also the instructor for our Intro into Silversmithing classes and some of our metals workshops.  She has trained at William Holland Lapidary School and is a plethora of creativity.  She also creates oil and watercolor paintings.  Check out her website:

 Carolyn Schneider-  She is a master of many arts!  Carolyn helps with our Free Saturday Workshops and is an expert knitter and beader.  She teaches classes for us and she is a very talented metalsmith.  She does lampworking, cross-stitching, enameling, glass-fusing and casting, embroidery, basket-weaving, paper making and even blacksmithing!  She is our go-to-gal.  She's a mom to three dogs, one cat, and one motorcycle.  She also likes square dancing!

 Jill Kettler-  She is our weaving instructor!  She holds monthly weaving classes and demonstrations at our store.  She's a mom to two grown kids, some kitties, two sheep, and a donkey!  She also is a grandmom to three grandkiddos!  She has recently become a master of metals and has started teaching metalsmithing classes with us.  Pictures of her creations can be found at

Jenni Swartz-  The originator of bead crochet with wire!  Jenni is insanely creative and very well-known for it.  She is very active in her community and her church.  Check out her business facebook page for all kinds of inspiring designs!

Kara Jacob- She teaches a variety of seed bead weaving techniques.  Her work has been published by Bead & Button Magazine and The Best Projects from a year of Bead & Button Magazine, Creative Beading, Vol. 5 Book.  

Theresa Bridgeman-  Probably the fastest knitter in the whole country.  She tackles (and creates) the most intense and intricate patterns.  She teaches lace and technique classes.  She has also been bit by the beading bug and it's safe to say she's addicted.  She teaches our popular Kaleidoscope Bangle class.  She's also very talented with a sewing machine

Heather Holland-Daly- Accomplished author and designer!  She is the author of Stitch Graffiti which is an awesome modern cross-stitch book published with Interweave Press.  She owns Monsterbubbles, which is an innovative stitch design company.  Heather makes beautiful felted creations and incredible jewelry.  Her felted flowers are for sale in our store.  She also teaches our How to Sell your Wares Workshops!  Check out her business facebook page!

Terry Dudley- He teaches some of our crystal bead weaving and wire classes.  His work is very geometrically inspired.  He enjoys making jewelry for his family and friends.  Terry always comes in with cool chainmaille projects he has tried out of beautiful copper wire and jump rings that he has made.

Kate Tegtmeier- When designer mud pies didn't catch on when she was 3, Kate has been searching for more enduring mediums. Knitting, crocheting, stained glass, tatting, quilting and most forms of needlework kept her busy until she discovered her true passion: wire work and chainmaille.